As the world faces the oncoming reality of declining energy,
fraying infrastructure, and other consequences promised to us by the profligacy of the fossil fuel
age, we’re left to look into a future that at first appears a trackless wilderness. The
monocrop of globalized industrial civilization has handed down precious few frameworks that we can
use to understand what it will be like to live in an age of less. It has dealt with its
impending dissolution by closing its eyes and pretending it’ll never happen.
And yet if we’re to survive and even thrive in the future, we must have stories.
For narrative is how we make sense of our world. The high-glitz fantasies we’re offered these days
won’t be much ultimate help, though: visions of spacefaring utopias or serves-us-right armageddons
are diverting and perhaps cathartic, but bear little resemblance to the futures we’re actually
likely to get.
New Maps is a quarterly journal of short stories that take place
in the Earth’s realistic future. Not a paradisiac or apocalyptic end of days, nor an
easy continuation of the last few decades’ business-as-usual with somewhat different fashions, but an
era in which our ecological and energy bills have come due, and we and our descendants have
proceeded to do what people always do: figure out creative ways to keep doing all those things that
make up life, the loving and hating and laughing and crying and all the rest, in the times we’ve
This is fiction of real life in an age of limits—an age that, like every
other, will mix the tragic and the comic and the who-knows-what-just-happened, and leave it to us to
make sense of it all. This is fiction full of cobbled-together and home-brewed technology,
reinvented culture with sacred cows butchered and new ones bred, and mourning and celebration of
the old world’s end mixed with hope for renewed health and integrity within a homespun patchwork of
new ways of life.
Dear New Maps Readers,
The Spring 2023 issue of New Maps is out now! Subscribers’ copies have been arriving
this week in the U.S., with international subscribers a little ahead or behind depending
on the country. If you aren’t subscribed, you can get your copy at the Order
page now. On the same page you can also subscribe; if
you subscribe before May 15, you’ll get this issue as your first. And the digital version
is available now at the New Maps Payhip
Patient New Maps readers,
The Winter 2023 issue—the Magic Issue—is finally out! It’s on its way to subscribers now; if you aren’t subscribed, you
can get a copy now at the order page. In a change of pace, the
digital version (usually made available a week or so after the print version) is up
now at New Maps’ Payhip store.
If you’re not already subscribed, subscribe by March 15 and you’ll still get this issue as the first
in your subscription. Full-year packages for 2022 are now available too!
Dear New Maps readers,
The Fall 2022 issue is now available to order! Most subscribers should
have just received their copies; if not, look for it in the next few
days. If you’re not subscribed, get your paper copy at the
order page, or an electronic (PDF) copy at the Payhip store].